2020 Mazda3 Hatchback

Frank Washington | 5/19/2020, 10:06 p.m.
While test driving the 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback, we pulled into a parking spot at the grocery store and before we ...

Mazda prides itself on not employing touch screens because they take the driver’s eye off the road. But so too does the process needed to change stations or sources on the radio. We do not know that there is a way to manipulate all the audio controls on any vehicle, including this one, that does not take the driver’s eye off the road.

The Mazda3 Hatchback had an electronic parking brake that had to be disengaged every time we started the car. There was a small moonroof as well.

We climbed into the back seats and found them to be a little snug, but it was nothing that moving the front seats up a notch or two could not fix. There was a fair amount of head room if we were sitting back in the seat. Lean forward – a lot – and our head brushed the headliner. But who rides like that?

And let’s be clear, this is a four-passenger car. The tunnel is too tall and wide to allow an adult to straddle it.

Anyway, the Mazda3 Hatch was powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that made 186 horsepower and a matching 186 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. This combination rendered 24 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combined.

Unexplainably, this engine sounded a little wimpy. But it had plenty of oomph both on surface streets and the expressways here. The ride was excellent; the suspension gobbled up bumps and divots in the road. Handling was particularly good.

The Mazda3 Hatchback was quiet; little road noise or wind noise entered the cabin. The Premium Package was comprised of the head up display, adaptive front lighting, leather seats and 18-inch black finish alloy wheels, the paddle shifters, LED lights all round and the moonroof.

For $31,470 as tested, the 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback was a lot of car for the bucks.

Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com